SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Local governments of Korea are enthusiastically advising their citizens to use a government-developed privacy information protection application amid new provisions beginning to be enforced in an effort to prevent increasing cases of personal information breaches.
On August 7, the “Personal Information Protection Act” started to take effect in earnest after a year of trial period, which prohibits the collecting of resident registration numbers (similar to social security numbers in the U.S.), by any organizations including government agencies, public organizations and businesses unless for reasons explicitly mentioned in the act.
As the new law is expected to create inconveniences and confusions for the citizens and businesses for the time being, the local governments of Korea such as the Seongnam City government and North Jeolla Provincial Government are actively recommending their people to download and use a smartphone application “Privacy Protection App.”
Developed and launched by the Ministry of Security and Public Administration of Korea upon the new law enactment on August 7, the app is designed to prevent personal information breaches which have been steadily rising in numbers over the years and to assist the enforcement of the newly enacted law.
The safeguard application provides information in the newly-enacted provision and reporting service under four menus — Service Introduction, Legitimate Examples of Collecting Personal Information by Organizations, Related Legal Basis and Report Illegal Request of Resident Registration Number — and is available for download in any open app stores including Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
With the privacy protection app, public organizations or private businesses can protect themselves from violating the newly-instituted law by conveniently looking up for the occasions in which the law will allow them to collect personal ID numbers.
As for ordinary people who are asked for their registration numbers, they won’t have to reluctantly give up their personal information worrying about the possibility of wrongful use. They can now easily check up with the app whether the request is a legitimate one and at the same time report to authorities, if the request turns out to be an illegitimate one.
An official in Seongnam City said, “We plan to continue to promote the app and ask our residents to utilize it, to make Seongnam a privacy-secure city.”
By J. H. Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)